Green and Gin co-founders, Maria Julia Florentin and Giorgia Castagna, are 2020 graduates of Les Roches Marbella. Maria Julia, originally from Paraguay, has lived and traveled around the world much of her life before discovering her love of hospitality, while Giorgia comes from Italy
Ever since they met at Les Roches Marbella where they studied a Bachelor’s in Global Hospitality Management together, Maria Julia and Giorgia found a common interest in gastronomy and sustainable living.
From their shared passion, Green and Gin took shape 2020 as an online platform designed for the purpose of spreading a message about sustainability and how it can be applied in the hospitality industry.
After graduating from Les Roches in January 2020, Maria Julia and Giorgia decided to learn all they could about organic agriculture as a means of understanding the fundamental processes of growing natural food right up to its delivery to consumers.
Connecting these links is an important step to transitioning the hospitality industry towards sustainable business solutions, in the F&B areas of hotels as well as restaurants in general. The place to go was Switzerland, so they set out to work as volunteers on the Marché Cuendet organic farm in Lausanne thanks to an organization called “WWOOF” (Worldwide Opportunities On Organic Farms).
Explaining their move, Maria Julia says that, “Since we are involved in the hospitality industry we believe it is important and necessary to research and spread this important message (about sustainability, consuming local, reducing food waste, etc.). By raising consciousness on these topics Green & Gin will hopefully make a positive change on the industry and the world as a whole.”
An international outlook made in Les Roches
While studying at Les Roches, the pair became interested in different types of world cuisine thanks partly to their international group of friends, but also thanks to the opportunities they had to travel during their internships in hotels around the world.
According to Maria Julia, there became a point when they started questioning themselves more about where food comes from, quickly realizing this was a whole new world to discover. Right before starting Green and Gin, they decided to start visiting small local producers to see what their lives and working conditions are like in comparison to mass produced farm food found in supermarkets. Their reason? Because this approach is not only about eating healthy, but also about consuming consciously, locally, and about respecting the environment and seasonality when it comes to food choices.
Green and Gin is born
After extensive field research, they decided to create an online platform where they can share this message while staying creative through different initiatives and projects. For the near future, Green and Gin will remain an online platform with the purpose of spreading a message of sustainability in the gastronomy sector.
However, they also have longer-term goals that will take them to Japan in 2021. From Tokyo, Green and Gin will begin creating personalized events that promote the products of their future partners while spreading the message of a sustainable future in hospitality and beyond.
What makes this project unique is the fact that Maria Julia and Giorgia are sharing experiences that they are actually living in person. Maria Julia credits her desire to stay curious and appreciate the little things we learn by engaging with different people and different lifestyles. Green and Gin is more than a business model; it’s a philosophy that in the near future can – and will – turn into beautiful projects in different ways.
Reflecting on their years studying hospitality at Les Roches in Marbella, both alumni credit their experience for awakening their curiosity and developing their interest in everything to do with the world of Food & Beverage.
Giorgia describes her experience as, “The spirit of this school taught us how to be confident and to appreciate each moment through sharing as the essence of hospitality. It was an unforgettable journey that will stay with us forever.”
Looking both at the current scenario and the future, post-Covid-19, Maria Julia concludes by saying, “In these times we believe it is important to stay calm and take time for yourself in order to figure things out. Be sure to always take the opportunity to stay healthy. A lot of new concepts and ideas are going to be created during these times as we have to adapt to a new reality, so it is, as well, the time to be creative and explore new avenues within the hospitality industry.”